LINDSBORG — Bethany College’s men’s basketball team enters the Christmas holiday tied for first place in the KCAC.
The offensive-juggernaut Swedes outscored Southwestern 97-93 Saturday night to move to 3-1 in the KCAC, the same as Saint Mary, Tabor and Friends.
Southwestern, on the other hand, had entered the week 2-0 in the KCAC and 11-0 overall, but suffered two losses in a span of 72 hours.
The Swedes blazed away for 52-percent shooting and again shared the basketball as five players hit for double figures. Jonathan Gidson came off the bench to lead the way with 22, while Cody Harris scored 17, Gary Jones and Larry McLin 14 apiece, and Nathan Coleman 10. Huge games also were turned in by Devin Smith (nine points, 10 assists) and Brandon Huskey (nine points, 11 rebounds).
The Swedes did a terrific defensive job on KCAC Player of the Year candidate Cameron Clark, as he scored only eight points and was 3 of 12 from the field. Chris Waller led the Moundbuilders with 23 points.
“This was a hard-fought win tonight," Bethany coach Clair Oleen said. "I loved our work on the boards tonight and our sharing of the ball. Our balance is tremendous. We were two points shy of having seven players in double figures. We had some certain types of defensive breakdowns all night long that it is essential that we correct. I am not normally one to single out individuals to the media, but I will say this, if we were handing out game balls tonight it would go to Brandon (Huskey). I also liked Devin's 10 assists and Larry's 6-0 assist to turnover ratio."
The Swedes, 8-3 overall, play an exhibition game Tuesday at Fort Hays State with a chance to upset an NCAA Division II school. The game, however, doesn’t count toward the Swedes’ record.
Bethany (97) — Jones 14, McLin 14, Harris 17, Coleman 10, Smith 9, Peterson 2, Gidson 22, Huskey 9.
Southwestern (93) — Riddle 19, Tisdale 12, Waller 23, Stafford 7, Dobbins 7, Clark 8, Surrell 3, Lipsey 14.
• Southwestern women 71, Bethany 55 — After starting KCAC play 0-2 following an 18-0 run last year, the defending champion Southwestern women are finding their form.
The Moundbuilders are now 2-2 in the KCAC while Bethany remains the only winless team in conference play at 0-4.
Bethany, now 1-11 overall, played the Moundbuilders tough for a half, down only 28-22. But Southwestern made 15 of 24 floor shots — 5 of 10 from 3-point — in the second half.
Adriane Davis was the only Swede in double figures with 22 points. Jordan Hobbs scored 21 for the Builders and Jana Reichenberger had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
“Probably the most frustrating thing is the final score,” Bethany coach Brett Morehouse said. “Our kids were much more competitive and the game was a lot closer than a 16-point difference would lead you to believe.”
Bethany is off until Dec. 29 when it goes to Billings, Mont., for a two-game tournament.
Bethany (55) — D. Davis 5, A. Davis 22, Brammer 9, Cleveland 9, Gamboa 3, Shields 7.
Southwesetern (71) — Taylor 3, Reichenberger 14, Rieger 12, Jo. Hobs 21, Cramner 5, Je. Hobbs 8, Bleumer 1, Lovell 2, Watson 3, Rickey 2.